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students holding up floor mats that say Pitt Physical Therapy

“The new immersion space allows me to finally connect in person with my colleagues. It is very evident that this space is top tier and very high class. You can tell that this is such a prestigious DPT program from this space alone. To dedicate the Box just to us for our immersions puts Pitt DPT above and beyond, and shows how much they care about their hybrid students. This is something that I am proud to be a part of and proud to show off.” 

-Allison DeJidas, DPT ‘25 

For the past two years, faculty and students from the Pitt Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Hybrid program would converge on the Pittsburgh Convention Center multiple times a semester for their weeklong, in-person immersion sessions. They were highly coordinated and successful, but those behind the production often laughed that the logistics and equipment necessary to make it happen could rival a Broadway show. 

This fall, the DPT Hybrid program was excited to finally christen its permanent home at the Box Office building in the SouthSide Works complex on Pittsburgh’s South Side. With one orientation and its first full week of immersion completed, early reviews of “the Box,” as it’s known, are that it is a smashing success. 

“Moving to the Box has been a great experience. After spending two years at the convention center this space feels like home! No more moving equipment, setting up the space, making sure the show would go on. No more roadshow! I look forward to the immersions in the Box for all it has to offer both students and faculty, a great learning environment that is our own.”  

-Kim Nixon-Cave, DPT Hybrid program director and professor 

“Finding a permanent home for the students and faculty engaged in the Hybrid DPT option has been a critical next step to ensuring that all of our DPT students feel connected to the university, connected to the program and connected to one another. The addition of the Box space to the Pitt Physical Therapy facilities was truly a collective effort from individuals within the university, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and the Department of Physical Therapy—a process that never could have happened as quickly as it has without the amazing leadership and vision of this team.” 

-David Wert, vice chair of Doctor of Physical Therapy Education and associate professor 

Let's Take a Tour!

When students enter the doorways of their new Pitt DPT Hybrid home, they are met with a large and unique foyer with a grand staircase that provides additional opportunities for academic and social gatherings. A digital projector above the foyer has been used to show course materials and videos. 

Large student body sitting on stairs

The Class of 2025 DPT residential and hybrid students in the foyer at orientation. 

The second floor is 25,000 square feet that includes two distinct lab spaces that can each accommodate up to 100 students, a student lounge, small conference room and an outdoor patio that overlooks the SouthSide Works neighborhood.  

Window view of a large classrooms space with medical exam tables


“I was excited to have a place we can call home. The fact that both classes of ‘24 and ‘25 are able to join in fellowship together under one roof was exciting to see. I was able to be with my friends--now family--under one roof and study, laugh and even cry together. It is important because we are each other’s support system and it creates a lifelong relationship.”  

-Tamoya Brown, DPT ‘24 

Entrance into the Pitt DPT space.

Glass door entrance to the hybrid learning space

The break room with kitchen, refrigerators and lockers.

Room with lockers and with yellow accents, tables and chairs

The labs are equipped with all the amenities needed in a physical therapy lab: treatment tables, mat tables, assistive devices, portable stairs, hospital beds, floor mats and more.  

Pictured below is adjunct faculty member Lauren Williams teaching second-year DPT students in the Patient Management 3 course. The topic on this day was amputations and prosthetics. In addition to students and faculty members, we also had some of our community educators: those with lived amputation and prosthetic experience. These community educators graciously share their experiences with our DPT students! 

Instructor teaching large class from elevated lecture space

“Being able to go through the first immersion at the Box was incredible, it allowed me to have a ton of hands-on experience as well as a chance to finally meet all my amazing classmates in person! Physical therapy is a very hands-on profession, so being able to go to the Box during immersion allows everyone to gain the hands-on experience that every student of physical therapy needs to learn and grow.” 

- Brennen Redcay, DPT ‘25 

Lab space with examination and hospital beds

“I enjoyed being at the new labs. They're spacious, and we have a great view from up there! I also loved the equipment they got for us, like the new adjustable tables. It's so much easier to work on our skills!”  

- Elena Luna Espinoza, DPT ‘24 

Since the space will simultaneously accommodate two cohorts of 90 hybrid students each, the Box was equipped with an extensive audio-visual system that includes ceiling and wall monitors for ease of viewing demonstrations regardless of location within the learning space.  

Alternative view of the lab space featuring just the examination tables and large monitors

“I love the rooftop space along with the study area when walking into the building. Having a basketball court nearby where we could go to take breaks was something great to have to release the stress hormones that had built up from studying long hours.”  

- Tamoya Brown, DPT ‘24 

View from inside the front of the lecture hall to the patio

Outdoor patio space for breaks and studying. 

The proximity of the Box to the residential facilities at Bridgeside Point also allows for easier student access to the gross anatomy lab housed on the third-floor of Bridgeside Point—a short jaunt across the Hot Metal Bridge. 

“The new space is great. We are now closer to Bridgeside Point, which reduces travel time to the cadaver lab and other Physical Therapy and research offices. All of the necessary equipment is in the same space, which allows for a more efficient lab set-up. “ 

-Reivian Berrios Barillas, assistant professor 

The location is also surrounded by walkable amenities such as cafes, food trucks, restaurants and retail stores that faculty and students have already frequented during their breaks and lunches. 

“Although it is off campus, the area has more of a campus feel compared with our previous location at the convention center. There is a variety of student friendly food, exercise and entertainment options within a one to two block radius at the Box.” 

-Kara L. Kobal, DPT Residential program director and associate professor 


Be sure to read the companion blog on the new DPT Hybrid immersion space, including its transition from being a former Pittsburgh steel mill complex! 

Learn more about the Pitt DPT Hybrid program on our website or contact an enrollment specialist at today!